Building a Dream

By WEEK Producer

August 11, 2012 Updated Aug 11, 2012 at 9:42 PM CDT

PEKIN, Ill. -- It was 8 o'clock on Saturday morning and gathered in the backyard of the Cusac residence was a group of strangers.

"It is a wonderful feeling to have all of these volunteers taking time out of their day to come set up the swing set," said Jackie Cusac. "Just the enthusiasm that they have is wonderful. Its very heart warming."

The Cusac's daughter is 11 year-old Jacklyne. She was born prematurely at 20 weeks and weighed only 13 ounces.

At 3 months she developed menengitis, which caused deafness and cerebral palsy.

Jacklyne wants a swing set. So the Dream Factory of Central Illinois recruited volunteers from the Hollis Park District to build one for her.

"One of our members has a sister who works for Hollis Park District and they heard about us putting up a swing set," explained Vickie Buckley of the Dream Factory. "They jumped on board and they're helping us not only put up the swing set but they're put stairs in the backyard so they won't have to come downstairs and out the back door all of the time."

"Personally it's a huge thing to see (Jacklyn)," said Jim Robertson, director of the Hollis Park District. "We got to meet Jacklyne the other day and it's a huge thing to know that you're involved in something like this."

The project is one of about 10 the Dream Factory of Central Illinois averages each year granting dreams to critically and chronically ill children between the ages of 3 and 18.

Everyone doing the work is motivated by one thing. A smile.

"When you're able to tell a child that they get a dream of a lifetime and you see the smile on their face that's all she wrote. That's it in a nutshell," said Buckley.